OK Pork Council Hosts Worst Case Scenario Exercise to Prepare State for an FMD Event in the StateFri, 04 Aug 2017 15:48:36 CDT
This week, the Oklahoma Pork Council hosted the National Pork Board and other state livestock organizations and stakeholders, at a tabletop exercise designed to prepare participants for the event of an emergency Foot & Mouth Disease outbreak in the state. Should an event like this ever occur, it would have the potential to be devastating to the ag economy in the state and nationally. Executive Director of the Oklahoma Pork Council Roy Lee Lindsey, spoke with Ron Hays, farm director for the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network, about the exercise and the need for preparedness. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Those that participated in the exercise, were led through a scenario developed by the National Pork Board, that involved the discovery of a confirmed FMD case on an Oklahoma hog farm surrounded by adjacent cattle herds grazing in neighboring pastures. Participants were walked through a series of events and protocols in response to the incident. In doing this, participants will hopefully have an idea of how to manage the situation.
“We’re shipping 6 million plus weaned pigs a year out of Oklahoma to other states,” Lindsey stated. “We are so dependent on our ability to move animals throughout the country - anything could impact that. And, an animal disease is one of the things that could limit our ability to move animals.”
Since FMD affects everything from hogs, cattle sheep and goats; anything with a cloven hood, Lindsey insists getting everyone that event like this could involve, together, in order to develop a cohesive plan of action is imperative. That includes, farmers, industry leaders and state and local emergency management responders.
“What we’ve learned from this is, if and when we get to that point, the plans are going to change,” he said, acknowledging the unpredictability of such a situation. “But at least you’ve started down the process today. To me, the real positive is when the county emergency manager says, ‘You’re going to ask me to do what?!’ - you will have the ability to explain to him whatever supplies, whatever services you may need, and understand what that operation will look like - who’s in charge, who is not. That’s the real positive of today and we all have the chance to work together.”
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